Fashion / Style File

Fashion Superstar Enjoys an Intimate Lunch With the Houston Women He Loves

Michael Kors Turns Up the Heat, Unloads on Pre-Fall Craze

BY // 04.12.19
photography Daniel Ortiz

Michael Kors allows that he has a special appreciation for Texas women and their let-the-heat be damned attitude toward fashion. Entertaining a group of Saks Fifth Avenue customers and friends during an intimate lunch in 51fifteen, he recalled his first visit to Houston 18 years ago.

“It was hot as blazes and every woman was dressed for fall,” he said. “In Houston, you wear what you like and you just crank up the AC . . . It was 1,000 degrees that day (the opening of the original Saks store in the Galleria). The asphalt was bubbling and not a single woman said they were hot.”

That self-assured, wear-what-you-want mindset was evident among a number of the femmes who had dressed to impress the successful  designer, who was in from New York on a brief swing through Texas. Leigh Smith, Whitney Crane and Alicia Smith were among the ladies who swanned through the private room in ensembles that might have been best suited for cocktails but on this occasion worked beautifully for lunch and Kors was most appreciative.

In addition to the embellished ensembles, Kors’ black and white polka dots proved to be a popular choice for the lunching ladies with no less than four posing with the designer, at his request, for a keepsake photo.

Quite the entertaining dinner partner, Kors kept his tablemates intrigued and laughing through all three courses that included Caesar salad, filet mignon and cheese cake. Just back from shows in Italy, a stopover at headquarters in New York and a visit in Dallas, Houston was midway between a trip that included next stop Los Angeles then back to New York and then on to his home in Sarasota, Florida.

“And then I collapse,” he said.

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There was little evidence of jet lag as Kors regaled the ladies with stories of legendary New York socialite Nan Kempner (her insistence on wearing a Kors beige suede jumpsuit to a mountain chalet lunch in Gstaad, in the winter); IMG model Bella Hadid, who introduced him to VR goggles and a hair-raising VR roller coaster ride; Cindy Crawford’s fabulous hair (something every model dreams of); and the long shoulder-length locks (think Peter Frampton) that he had in the ’80s.

“I dance like I still have long hair,” he laughed, swaying his head back and forth with little give in his close cropped coif. “You’ve seen me at the White House! I’m dancing like this,” he said, head swaying once again. And the ladies lapped it up.

Michael Kors
Michael Kors and his polka dot brigage at the Saks Fifth Avenue luncheon. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

Taking only a few bites of the tempting cheesecake, Kors donned his aviator glasses and strode to the front of the room to introduce his presentation during which he challenged the popular designer notion of a “pre-fall” collection.

“It’s the stupidest thing in the world,” he said. “What the F is pre-fall? It’s summer! We call it transeason.”

And with that he began the presentation that included a bounty of rapturous spring prints, dresses for St. Bart’s or Capri (his favorite place to vacation), a heavy dose of fall and a dollop of dreamy evening wear, all of which had the ladies checking in with their personal shoppers. Handbags, hats, shoes and the cocktail wear — who could resist?

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